Our Investigations Team is the largest team in our organisation, and is focussed on early resolution of complaints supported by a fair, independent and accessible process. Lots of different roles within the team help deliver this goal.
Case Investigators assess if complaints are ‘eligible’ to enter our system, investigate those cases which are eligible in detail, recommend a potential resolution for parties to consider, and if voluntary resolution is not possible make a final set of recommendations which is then considered at a formal Determination (see the ‘Clerking’ team for more information on that last stage).
A Mediation Coordinator offers parties independent mediation, which in most cases can offer a faster, quicker, and more cost effective way to resolve some complaints than formal investigation. Where parties are willing, the coordinator will make all the arrangements for a mediation to take place.
Our Investigation Support Team are the first point of contact for external service users, helping a wide range of people with enquiries relating to new and existing complaints. They help ensure we are accessible and helpful, and assist in the management of case files and data supporting the wider work of the whole team. They also deliver high quality administrative support to the whole organisation.
What do some of our current investigation staff say about working at the SLCC?
CASE INVESTIGATION SUPPORT
Ian, Investigation Support Manager
The SLCC has helped me develop my career while staying focused on two of the things I enjoy most about working life – helping other people, and supporting fast and fair resolution of problems and complaints.
I have worked as a complaints investigator in the legal sector in both England and Scotland, and was looking for the next step in my career within the SLCC. I enjoyed the detailed work of investigating complaints, but my main motivation was always getting an outcome for the parties. I realised that this was often as much about customer service, building trust, and driving an efficient process as it was about the actual detail of the case.
When the opportunity arose to manage the Investigation Support Team I knew it was a role I would enjoy. Working as part of a great team we help and support hundreds of people a week – both complainers and lawyers can find the complaints process stressful and complicated, and as a team we enjoy trying to explain things clearly and provide reassurance that the system is independent and fair. The team is also responsible for driving many aspects of the process to ensure it is as efficient as possible – dealing with email and correspondence, and ensuring our case management system is up to date so files are in order. Working in this way means we can produce accurate reporting data, and assess incoming complaints to ensure certain criteria are met and that we have the information and permissions we need.
The work is varied, fast paced, and there are opportunities for me and members of the team to get involved in projects, and to use the knowledge we gain from speaking to users of our service to help improve the overall work of the organisation.
For me personally I’ve also valued the active social life of the organisation, including our work as a whole staff team to raise funds for charity, together with the chance to develop further in my management role.
Juliet, Case Support Officer
As a Case Support Officer (CSO) I am often the first point of contact for complainers and practitioners, and effectively the first impression they will have of the SLCC. I pride myself on delivering an excellent level of customer service and I feel this is echoed by colleagues across the SLCC.
The CSO role involves carrying out an initial review of customer complaints so that we can identify any potential issues with locating practitioners/firms, prematurity or issues being raised out with our timescales. Recognising these issues enables us to work more effectively and inform complainers early if there is no opportunity for their complaint to progress. We are also involved with the complaints later in the process when we correspond with the Law Society regarding eligibility decisions. This offers a great opportunity for us to have sight of the decisions which are being made by the Case Investigators and get a fuller picture of how SLCC handle complaints.
Together with three other CSO’s I also am responsible for responding to telephony queries and enquires received via post/email. This brings a huge amount of variety to my day and allows me to expand my knowledge as I am rarely asked the same thing twice.
Due to the knowledge and skills which I have gained in the CSO position and my previous experience as a Complaint Handler I have recently been successful in obtaining a Case Investigator position. Whilst I am looking forward to the change I will miss the variety of the CSO role.
Amy, Case Investigator
As a Case Investigator at the SLCC, I work within a team of Investigators who carry a varied and diverse workload, focused on resolving and settling complaints from all areas of Legal practise. My work involves producing detailed and accurate Investigation Reports, avoiding legalistic language so that they are easily read by consumers and practitioners alike. My working day involves preparing Investigation Reports, reading files and processing information in line with the Service Standards expected of Solicitors. I regularly speak with members of the public and the legal profession with a view to establishing a resolution where things may have gone wrong in a legal matter. I find it very satisfying when a complaint is resolved successfully and parties come to an agreement. I have a productivity target to measure my performance and I am able to manage my workload accordingly to meet and exceed these figures. Also as part of my role I have taken part in workshops and projects to develop existing practise, taken part in charity events and I have been given the opportunity to try out other roles in the organisation to allow me to develop my knowledge of all stages of the Investigation process. I find that the Case Investigators are kept well cited on all decisions and take part in discussions about any improvements to processes.
Darina, Case Investigator
I have been working at the SLCC as a Case Investigator since April 2016. I’m older than many of those working here and have worked as a nurse in the NHS, as an information manager in libraries and most recently as a solicitor in a law firm. During the course of my working life I have experienced very different types of workplaces and cultures. The employers and organisations for whom I worked in the past purported to support and encourage and promote a positive work culture, but I found that this rarely, if ever translated into practice and the reality was always very different to the image presented during the recruitment process. This is definitely not the case at the SLCC. I really enjoy working here, and can honestly say that I feel even more positive about the organisation after 8 months working here than I did during my first days and weeks at the SLCC. The SLCC is a relatively small organisation with relatively few layers of management and there is a real sense that everyone’s voice is listened to and valued, regardless of their position within the organisation. There is also a culture of transparency and openness, which is reflected in the open plan working environment and a focus on providing encouragement and support to each other within the structure of the team, rather than an emphasis on working alone. There is also a sense that the SLCC wants their employees to develop and actively assists the progression of their employees. The SLCC recognises that everyone’s needs are different and in recognition of that, flexible working practices are embedded into the culture of the organisation.
Nick, Specialist Case Investigator
One of the things I like most about working with the SLCC is that I enjoy coming into work each day. The work we do is varied, often interesting and, perhaps most importantly, I feel the job I do matters. I’ve always enjoyed learning new things and, growing up, I probably drove my mum and dad crazy asking questions to understand how stuff worked and why things happened the way they did. As a Case Investigator, I get the chance to use those character traits that annoyed my parents when I was a child, as well as the knowledge and skills I’ve developed since, to help the people who use the SLCC’s services.
A massive part of why I enjoy working here is the people I work alongside. Not only do I feel we all share the “corporate” values of the SLCC, like fairness and professionalism, I feel we also share values that are important to me personally, like positivity and a good sense of humour. The work we do can be challenging and is certainly never easy, but they manage to keep a smile on their faces – well, most of the time at least! Whilst we all take responsibility for our own work, we help maintain high standards by supporting each other as a team. We share ideas, knowledge and experience, but we also share stories, jokes and, occasionally, a drink or two! Each year we pick an office charity together – then we dress up, taste each other’s baking (with mixed results) and even run marathons together – all for a good cause.
I’m proud to tell people I work with the SLCC and I would recommend it to anyone.
Rachel, Specialist Case Investigator
I started with the organisation over four years ago as a Case Investigator dealing with investigation of complaints.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the job is the team ethos and people-based culture. My first impression of the SLCC was that everyone was friendly, approachable and made me feel at ease. That’s something that has continued throughout my time here; it’s a relaxed and friendly place to work. There’s a huge amount of knowledge and skills within the organisation and everyone is supportive of each other and happy to offer technical knowledge or guidance. If you find yourself having to tackle a complicated complaint, a colleague or manager will always have the time to talk through the issues and help you reach a conclusion.
Another positive part of the job is that everyone is encouraged to contribute to developing our processes and implementing improvements. There are always opportunities to participate in any projects you are interested in and managers encourage and support this. The aims and goals of the organisation are always well communicated and because everyone is involved in attaining these, employees do feel as though they are positively contributing.
I’ve also been excited to see us engage more with the people we work to help this year. Training events for lawyers help them handle complaints better and learn about common issues they might be able to prevent. Our statutory Consumer Panel is helping make sure we understand what it’s like for those using lawyers, and the challenges they have around making a complaint, and I was proud when we issued new consumer guides to help them get the best out of using legal services.
No day is ever the same and, for me, it’s this diversity that makes the job so enjoyable!
Lucie, Mediation Co-ordinator
As Mediation Co-ordinator, I’m responsible for the day-to-day running of the SLCC’s mediation service. Where mediation is appropriate, I influence and persuade users to the benefits of mediation and where parties are both willing to mediate, I make arrangements for mediation to take place. I also try to resolve complaints wherever possible outwith formal mediation. In order to do this, I have to exercise my judgment to assess the likelihood of reaching a successful outcome and to suggest possible ways of doing so. To assist the parties to a complaint in reaching a resolution, I also provide guidance on the likely outcome of an investigation where possible.
I have an interesting and varied workload which means every day is different. Communicating with service users is a big part of my role and as a result I have a lot of direct contact with members of the public and the legal profession, both over the phone and in writing. I work predominately independently however my manager is always on hand to provide support or a second opinion when I need it.
The SLCC encourages staff in their personal development and progression of their careers and welcomes ideas and suggestions from all staff. Staff are kept well informed and involved in changes to processes and in implementing improvements.
One of the most enjoyable things about working at the SLCC is the people I work alongside- my colleagues are friendly, supportive and approachable. There is a great team ethos and if there’s ever a time you need help, there is always a someone willing to assist. There is a good atmosphere in the office which makes for a pleasant working environment.
If you think you possess the key skills and would be interested in joining our Investigations Team, please see our current vacancies for all opportunities with SLCC.